Arabia, striving to join the World Trade Organization, urged Europe
yesterday to understand its special position of being an Islamic
country which implements the Shariah, or Islamic law, a government
came during a meeting here between Minister of Commerce Osama Faqeeh
and EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy as part of the Kingdom’s
negotiations with other countries over its WTO membership.
minister wanted the EU to “understand the unique position of the
Kingdom ... which is proud of implementing the Shariah, and that of
the conservative nature of the Saudi society”, a statement by the
Commerce Ministry said.
minister also noted that Saudi Arabia could not open its markets to
products prohibited by Islam.
Saudi Arabia’s biggest trading partner with the trade volume between
the two sides hitting SR66 billion ($17.6 billion) last year, Faqeeh
teams from both sides discussed in Riyadh during the past two days a
number of issues relating to WTO. Lamy also met with Minister of
Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi and discussed with him
the stability of the world oil market and Saudi membership in the WTO.
The Kingdom has been striving for years to gain membership to the
trade body, which it sees as vital to diversifying its energy-led
economy. The Kingdom has blamed its delay in entry into the WTO on
unclear and inflexible trade rules.
said this week the Kingdom had made substantial progress on its WTO
bid since January, adding that there were intensive talks “to arrive
at a package of obligations which is balanced and beneficial for the
economic needs of Saudi Arabia.”
Source: Arab News©